Fire alarm monitoring is a service that triggers immediate alerts to emergency services in the event that a fire alarm goes off. It can be offered as part of an overall safety and security package that includes burglar alarms and other security systems or as a standalone service. Many companies offer fire alarm monitoring, although people should be aware that in some regions, fire alarms are required to connect automatically to the fire department, in which case firm alarm monitoring would be a redundant service.
With a conventional alarm system, when the fire alarm goes off, people in a structure will be aware that the alarm is sounding, and the alarm is usually loud enough to alert passersby. Response time is dependent on someone being around to hear and respond to the alarm. This means that fires that take place during off-hours or in remote locations may burn for hours before emergency services respond. This can result in significant losses, in addition to danger for other buildings in the area.
With a fire alarm monitoring system, when the alarm sounds, a signal is sent to the monitoring company. The company contacts the fire department and the property owner. Such systems are designed to activate with seconds, ensuring that the fire department is called as soon as possible. This allows first responders to get to the fire while it is still small, decreasing the damages associated with the fire and also increasing safety for firefighting personnel.
Insurance companies will often offer a discount on structures that have a firm alarm monitoring system, and in some cases, such systems may actually be required before an insurance company will provide coverage. The cost of the system can be offset by insurance savings in addition to the money and time that will be saved by a rapid response in the event of a fire.
Companies that offer fire alarm monitoring should make a site visit to inspect the building and make recommendations about system installation. Personnel can also offer advice on improving the safety and security of a facility. Once a contract has been signed, the system can be installed. Service contracts are usually recommended to ensure that the system is maintained properly and checked on a regular basis to confirm that it is working correctly. People may find it helpful to consult property owners they know and trust to get recommendations for fire alarm monitoring services and learn about companies to avoid.